Do you ever think grumpiness has become epidemic? Oh, there is always that annoying person who is perpetually peppy, perky, and piping with personality. However, it seems to me that people slip into grumpiness much swifter than they did when I was younger.
I think it’s a habit. Something happens. You have a bad day, someone is rude, whatever. Ugliness strikes and you’re grumpy. Maybe it’s PMS (which can stand for pre-menstrual syndrome or peeved male syndrome). Maybe it’s just lack of sleep or low blood sugar. Whatever, you get grumpy.
I think that’s when the spiral begins. When I was little, someone told me that “kindness begets kindness.” Well, I think the same is true of a lot of things. Generosity begets generosity, smiles beget smiles, and grumpiness begets grumpiness. I am serious. It is just easier to keep being grumpy once you get started.
Kid spills milk and mom snaps, “Pay attention!” The seed appears. She drops her keys between the seat on her way to the store and groans in frustration. The seed is planted. At the store, the checker has just had a nasty customer treat her like trash, and she got snippy when you reminded her that you asked for stamps–twice. Seed gets watered as you say, “Someone needs to learn a little bit about customer service” and seethe all the way to the car.
Your son comes home with a C on the paper you spent hours
writing editing for him. What kind of idiot teacher– and so on and so on.
With each lapse into grumpiness, it becomes easier for the next irritant to push the thorn further into your side. Here’s where I think it gets really strange. People say that venting those frustrations (i.e. being grumpy) helps them feel better, but how is that possible when it just helps them be grumpy that much faster the next time? I submit to you that it does not make you feel better–not really. Not anymore than any other sin makes you feel better. It doesn’t. It lies and tempts and seduces you into believing the lie that says you deserve to vent your feelings. You do it. And you fall back into the mire and it’s even harder to slog yourself out again.
Why do we do it? We know better and yet we do it. I say DOWN with grumpy. He’s a cute dwarf on a shirt or in a movie but there’s nothing cute about grumpy in a mom or dad or–dare I say it–child. A cute face on a grumpy toddler. Maybe. Today. The attitude still stinks and what looks cute today will look putrid in 10 years. Just sayin’.
Off to try to eradicate grumpy from my home for at least one more day.
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